What is Satya in Yoga – Satya is the second of the five Yamas described in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. The literal meaning of Satya in Yoga is Truth. Truthfulness is often thought of on a superficial level as ‘not lying,’ which means speaking the truth and being honest.
This definition of truth is also true because the quality of truth inspires us to live and talk about the truth at all times, which develops respect, dignity, and integrity. We always stay true to our beliefs, our goals, and our nature.
But the true meaning of the ‘virtue of truth’ according to the eight limbs of yoga is much deeper than this. Satya or truth is much more than simply expressing the truth in words and action.
The true meaning of Satya
As described in the Yoga Sutra, Satya guides us to think, speak, and act with integrity. The word ‘sat’ means ‘that which actually exists.’ Accordingly, the truth is to see and render things as they are, not as we believe they should be.
But seeing things in their truth can be challenging because we all view life through a conditioned mindset that is formed by our thoughts, beliefs, teachings, and past experiences learned so far.
According to these teachings, we decorate and colour everything uniquely. Thus, none of us experience the same event in the same way. Furthermore, what we perceive as truth one day may not be comparable to truth the next day or even moment. To understand the Satya properly, it is necessary to be alert and aware of it in the present.
Truth teaches us that this physical body, the thoughts and feelings we experience, are not our reality. These are only relative aspects of life, not the ultimate truth. Satya is the truth of that immutable realm of Pure Intelligence or the Supreme Being.
How to practice Satya in daily life?
Meditation is the best way to achieve Satya as it enables the yogi to take his awareness deeper to experience a blissful and peaceful state.
Satya to Oneself
People usually ask a straightforward yet profound question, “How can I practice Satya?”
The answer is that it is a matter of every moment to practice the truth, until it becomes your habit, and you always live in reality without thinking.
Being true to yourself leads you to eternal peace, which is the basis of your life.
Being true to ourselves forms our foundation, which builds our relationships with the rest of the world. That is why this Yama of Satya or truth has been given so much importance in the practice of Ashtanga Yoga.
Practicing the truth in every aspect of life, personal or professional, is essential to living a happier and more fulfilling life. So, be your authentic self by being honest in your words and actions, and the world will trust and respect you and be inspired to live that way.
Satya for Nurturing Relationships
Satya doesn’t mean you have to speak the truth and be bluntly honest without thinking about it, no matter how painful it may be to someone.
This practice of Satya is not about telling the Truth without considering the consequences.
If speaking the truth causes pain or suffering to someone, it is not in line with the first Yama of Ahimsa or non-violence, and in that case, it may be best to remain silent.
It teaches much about self-restraint, including carefully analyzing thoughts, weighing words, and speaking. This is so that the way truth is expressed should help and inspire others and nurture our relationships with everyone.
Satya in Yoga Practice
As already discussed, we should be true to ourselves, and truth in yoga is also a part of being true to self.
We must be honest with ourselves and discover the true purpose of practicing yoga, knowing and accepting our strengths and weaknesses so that the practice will always allow us to work at our level.
Additionally, being honest with ourselves enables us to dissolve our ego and realize our true potential beyond this body.
Satya to seek the real purpose of life
Speaking the truth (Satya) allows us to focus our minds, trust ourselves and connect with our higher self. Connecting with your higher self and knowing the ultimate supreme is the real purpose of every individual’s life.
In the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, sage Patanjali states that the words of those firmly established in the practice of truth become so powerful that whatever they say becomes true.
In this way, practicing Satya by bringing conscious awareness to our thoughts and words helps in our lives and relationships with others and contributes to the well-being of the entire world.